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Gounod: Romeo Et Juliette / Bocelli, Alberola, Luisi

Release Date: 11/20/2012 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 001731802  
Composer:  Charles Gounod
Performer:  Andrea BocelliMaite Alberola
Conductor:  Fabio Luisi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Genoa Teatro del Carlo Felice ChorusGenoa Teatro del Carlo Felice Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Gounod’s Faust may overshadow his other eleven operas but his Roméo et Juliette succeeded in running a sound second. This Roméo et Juliette has much to commend it. Gounod’s version follows the David Garrick revamping of Shakespeare’s take on the ancient Italian story of passion and vendetta; just as did Berlioz for his dramatic symphony. It allows Romeo and Juliet to have a scene together before they both die. One of its strengths is the four romantic and dramatic duets for the two principals plus considerable solos for them and for other prominent characters. There’s also a major role for the chorus who sketch in so much of the story.

The melodramatic and fugal overture speaks dramatically of the century-old
Read more strife between the Montagues and Capulets. The choir eloquently fill in detail and go on to describe the atmosphere and events of the Capulets’ ball with its delightful dance music. Gounod’s heady melodies, imaginatively orchestrated, create an exciting and anticipatory atmosphere here. This opening act has many riches including Juliette’s waltz song ‘Je veux vivre dans le rêve’ in which she declares she wants to enjoy her youth rather than succumb to the blandishments of Paris. Haughtily, Alberola, sounding a little too mature for Juliette, rises to the coloratura challenges of this celebrated aria. Her diction does not always have the clarity that Bocelli brings to his Romeo. Bocelli impresses throughout. Just listen to how ardently his tones ring out as he declares his passion in the balcony scene. Then hear how he communicates his utter despair in the final act aria, ‘Salut, tombeau sombre et silencieux!’ as he sees his Juliette lying motionless on a bier before discovering, too late to save himself, that her death has been feigned. Romeo and Juliette’s four duets are dramatic and emotional triumphs from the tender leave-taking at the end of the balcony scene to the heart-rending tragedy of the final scene. Gounod’s orchestral lullaby, as Romeo takes his leave is so tenderly captivating.

Another Act I treasure is Mercutio’s presto ballad about Queen Mab, deceiver, weaver of dreams to Gounod’s quicksilver, will-o’-the-wisp music. It’s delivered with gusto by Alessandro Luongo’s Mercutio. Traversi’s Gertrude is all concern and conspiratorial assistance as Juliette’s matronly nurse. The oaken-voiced Andrea Mastroni as Father Laurent is another of this production’s strong assets. His aria ‘Buvez donc ce breuvage’ as he hands Juliette the vial containing the draught that will fake her death, is just another memorable moment. Again Gounod’s orchestral backing, sympathetically read by Fabio Luisi, speaks volumes. Juliette’s extended aria after she takes the draught is another high point and Alberola is quite magnificent here especially when she reaches that sublime melody at “… To fear, were my love to betray! Never! Never! Rather for dead may he bemoan me!...”

An outstanding and memorable production of Gounod’s "other opera."

– Ian Lace, MusicWeb International Read less

Works on This Recording

Roméo et Juliette by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Andrea Bocelli (Tenor), Maite Alberola (Soprano)
Conductor:  Fabio Luisi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Genoa Teatro del Carlo Felice Chorus,  Genoa Teatro del Carlo Felice Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; France 

Sound Samples

Roméo et Juliette: Ouverture
Roméo et Juliette / Ouverture-Prologue: "Vérone vit jadis deux familles rivales"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 1: "L'heure s'envole"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 1: "Eh bien! Cher Paris"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 1: "Ah! Qu'elle est belle!...Ecoutez! écouter!"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 1: "Allons! jeunes gens! Allons! belles dames!"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 1: "Enfin la place est libre, amis!"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 1: "Mab, la reine des mensonges"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 1: "Eh! bien! que l'avertissement"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 1: "Voyons nourrice, on m'attend, parle vite!"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 3: "Que le diable soit de vos deux maisons!"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 1: "Non! Non! Je ne veux pas t'ecouter plus longtemps...Ah, je veux vivre dans ce reve"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 3: "O" jour de deuil! ô jour de larmes!
Roméo et Juliette / Act 3: "Le Duc! Le Duc!"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 1: "Le nom de cette belle enfant?"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 1: "De grâce, demeurez!...Ange adorable"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 3: "Ah! Jour de deuil et d'horreur et d'alarmes"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 4: Orchestral introduction
Roméo et Juliette / Act 1: "Quelqu'un!...C'est mon cousin Tybalt!"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 4: "Va! je t'ai pardonné"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 1: "C'était Roméo!"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 2: Entr'acte
Roméo et Juliette / Act 4: "Roméo! Qu'as tu donc?"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 2: "O nuit! Sous tes ailes obscures abrite-moi!"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 4: "Juliette! Ah! le ciel soit loué"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 2: "L'amour! L'amour! ...Ah! lève-toi, soleil!"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 4: "Quoi! Ma fille, la nuit à peine est achevée"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 4: "Que l'hymne nuptial succède aux cris d'alarmes"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 2: "Hélas! moi, le haïr!"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 2: "Ecoute! on vient"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 2: "De qui parlez-vous donc?"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 2: "O nuit divine! je t'implore"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 2: "Ah! ne fuis pas encore!"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 2: "Adieu mille fois!...Va! repose en paix!"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 3: Entr'acte
Roméo et Juliette / Act 3: "Mon père! Dieu vous garde!"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 3: "Dieu qui fit l'homme à ton image"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 3: "Roméo! Tu choisis Juliette pour femme?...O pur bonheur!"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 3: "Depuis hier je cherche en vain mon maître"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 3: "Que fais-tu, blanche tourterelle?"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 3: "Ah! ah! voici nos gens"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 3: "Quelle rage! Vertudieu!"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 3: "Allons! tu ne me connais pas, Tybalt"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 4: "Mon père! tout m'accable!"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 4: "Buvez donc ce breuvage"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 4: "Hésitez-vous?"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 4: "Dieu! Quel frisson court dans mes veines"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 4: "Amour ranime mon courage"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 5: Le sommeil de Juliette
Roméo et Juliette / Act 5: "C'est la!...Salut! Tombeau!"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 5: "O ma femme! O ma bien-aimée!"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 5: "A toi, ma Juliette!"
Roméo et Juliette / Act 5: "Console-toi- pauvre âme"

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